Peach Knobblers

These were not my finest looking cakes, I’ll be the first to admit. Hence the name – they really suit it. Let’s get a picture in straight up, and you can see what I mean.

Now, the theory behind these was nice, and in fact the *taste* of them was nice, too, it’s just unfortunate that they looked so dreadful. I was trying to recreate the joy of a peach cobbler in the form of a cupcake, for my dad’s birthday picnic. I thought I’d do a spiced brown sugar sponge, top it with peach slices then add some of the cornmeal drop biscuit topping and bake the whole lot. I considered baking the sponge first, then adding the peaches and topping once it was partly cooked, but I didn’t want to dry out the sponge with excessive baking time. I really should have taken that risk, because what came out of the oven looked like a monster; like a troll cake who’d eaten an innocent peach cake for walking over its bridge, but you could still see the peach cake crying out for help. The other thing I should have done was omitted a raising agent from the sponge mix, and that might have stopped the cake from rising up (and around and out and over) so much. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn, right?

The recipe for the spiced brown sugar sponge, which was really good, despite its appearances, is as follows:

Makes 8

  • 4oz brown sugar, sieved or at least crumbled to get rid of most of the lumps
  • 4oz margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4oz flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • pinch salt

Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the sugar and margarine. Next, add the egg and then the milk. Mix all the remaining ingredients together, then add to the bowl and fold with a spatula until just mixed. Distribute the mix between eight cupcake cases. Bake at 180C for about fifteen minutes.

That’s kind of the fairytale version of the recipe. I thought ‘bake until troll-like’ didn’t have the same ring to it.

If you want to make peach knobblers…

  • 400g tin peach slices in syrup, drained
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp fine ground cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Make the drop-biscuit topping first, by combining the dry ingredients and butter with your fingertips, to form a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk, followed by the lemon juice. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk, 1 tsp at a time. If it is too wet, add more cornmeal, 1 tsp at a time, and make sure it is fully mixed through before adding more.


Follow the recipe for spiced brown sugar cakes as above (you could omit the raising agent to try and improve the appearance), but instead of using the cupcake cases, use muffin cases, and half fill each with the sponge mixture. Top with two or three peach slices, then a teaspoon of the drop biscuit cobbler mixture. Bake at 200C for 10 – 15 minutes, until troll-like.


About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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